Ko Oteauheke rāua ko Maungaharuru te maunga
Ko Awaiti raua ko Mōhaka te awa
Ko Akaroa rāua ko Tangitū te moana
Ko Takitimu ki te waka
Ko Ōnuku raua ko Waipapa-a-Iwi te maeae
Ko Kāti Irakehu rāua ko Ngāti Pāhauwera ōku ngā hapū
Ko Irakehu rāua ko Rongomaiwahine ōku ngā wāhine toa
Ko Kāi Tahu rāua ko Ngati Kahungunu ki te Wairoa ōku ngā iwi.
Ki te uta ō te tai Rāwhiti nei,
Ko Isobel Joy Te Aho-White toku ingoa.
Ko Ngāti Pakehā ki Britain, Denmark,
No Whanganui-a-tara ahau.
Ka tangi te tītī, ka tangi te kākā, ka tangi hoki ahau.
No reiria titiro mai, tihei mauri ora!
Your mahi is very powerful – what do you love about illustration?
As a visual thinker, when someone is explaining an idea that captures me, vivid imagery flows through my mind. As an illustrator, my job is to capture these images, pull forward the key points, and create a layered illustration that conveys this idea in a way that is easily absorbed. Recent studies are showing how imagery is absorbed into the brain quicker and stays for longer. So, the way I see it, illustration supports and strengthens words or text using visual cues, which is a realm with much exciting potential.
What kind of mahi do you want to do in the future?
I want to continue along this path – illustration as storytelling, uplifting mātauranga māori in education, and as a way to contribute to the restructuring of our current western and neurotypically dominant education system, so that academics can reflect the wonderfully diverse thinkers that exist.
What was the seed for your illustration?
The illustration tells the pūrākau of Tāne climbing through the 12 realms of ngā Rangi, the heavens, to Io, the Supreme force of potentiality, where he retrieves ngā kete e toru o te wānanga – the three baskets of knowledge. The story tells not only of the importance of gaining the knowledge, but also of the journey that it takes to get there.
What do the three baskets of knowledge mean to you?
The three baskets of knowledge are known as te kete tuauri, te kete tuatea and te kete aronui- knowledge of spiritual communication, negative energies, and positive energies respectively. The knowledge of these kete is important to sustain tuarite, or balance.
This is applied in the context of research and reminds us of the tikanga, or processes, that are required to maintain this balance and ensure that the mana of all participants and subjects are upheld. In the wider context of day-to-day life this knowledge is fundamental to maintaining balance within our communities, with our loved ones, and within ourselves.
Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi – With your basket and my basket the people will thrive